Scoreless stalemate keeps ladies in promotion hunt

A Ballymena player holds off a determined challenge from a PSNI opponent during Saturday's match against PSNI. INBT 08-834H
A Ballymena player holds off a determined challenge from a PSNI opponent during Saturday's match against PSNI. INBT 08-834H

Ballymena Hockey Club ladies’ First XI secured an important point in their battle for promotion to the Premier League at the weekend.

A scoreless draw against Rainey at Ballymena Academy keeps the local girls two points behind their opponents with Ballymena having a game in hand as they aim for the second promotion spot behind runaway leaders Banbridge.

A Ballymena player attempts to close down a PSNI opponent. INBT 08-835H

A Ballymena player attempts to close down a PSNI opponent. INBT 08-835H

The best chance of the game fell to Aimee Logan who regained possession from a Rainey hit out and drew the Rainey keeper in and slipped it left to Clare Gillespie, who made an excellent connection with the ball but unfortunately it just brushed the far post.

The Ballymena defence of Emma Clarke, Catherine McCracken and Susanne Morrison worked tirelessly while Grace McBurney at right back had an exceptional game and worked hard down the right hand side keeping her opposite number in check. Joanne Davis made excellent saves to keep Ballymena in the game and at the final whistle a 0-0 draw was a fair result.

Ballymena: J Davis(GK), S Morrison, E Clarke, G McBurney, C McCracken, J Sutherland, H Taggart, J Duncan, C Gillespie, E King, K Young, A Logan.

SECONDS

A Ballymena player attempts to get his stick to a loose ball during Saturday's match at Ballymena Academy. INBT 08-836H

A Ballymena player attempts to get his stick to a loose ball during Saturday's match at Ballymena Academy. INBT 08-836H

Queen’s II 6, Ballymena II 0: The Seconds travelled to the Dub for their Irish Cup match with a Queens 2nds, runaway leaders of Junior 2!

With both teams having good early possession it was Queens who got off to the better start with an early 1-0 lead and the deficit had doubled by the interval.

Ballymena were determined to get back into the game and Lorna Murphy and Sarah Montgomery both went close.

However as Ballymena began to tire, Queens stepped up a gear and hit Ballymena time and again on the counter attack, adding 4 further goals in the half without reply.

Ballymena: L. Hanna(GK), N. Greer, S. Montgomery, E. Alexander, K. Aiken(C), L. Murphy, G. McCready, S. Nicholl, H. Dickey, R. Murphy, N. Rea, L. McClintock, S. Penney, E. Anderson, S. Storey.

THIRDS

Ballymena III 1, Belfast Harlequins III 3: In the first half Ballymena were punished with 2 goals as they failed to mark players in dangerous positions within the circle.

In the second half it was a different story as Ballymena created many chances and were eventually rewarded with a goal in a scramble on the Quin’s line that Sarah Montgomery converted. Ballymena were undone again in the closing minutes following a long hit up field.

Ballymena: R. Jones(GK), L. Burrows, E. Johnston(c), A. Harbinson, S. Smyth, R. Barr, S. Montgomery, N. Sloan, L. Logan, M. Knox, B. Hampton, J. Kernohan.

MEN

Ballymena 6, PSNI 2: Ballymena took the lead in this Minor Cup tie with Alex McKeown pouncing on a bouncing ball to smash it into the top corner from close range before a good passing move was finished neatly by the hard working Matthew O’Neill.

Ballymena then hit a third with a quick break down the right which saw Andrew McKelvey pull the ball back to Victor Orr who sent a rocket past the keeper before PSNI scored from a penalty corner.

The visitors pulled it back to 3-2 early in the second half but the score went to 4-2 when Andy Linford score with an accomplished finish and the same player made it 5-2.

The scoring was completed when Fulton played a sublime reverse stick pass to Davis who calmly placed the ball past the on rushing keeper.

Ballymena: James Birrell, David McDonald, Chris Hogg, Ryan Jess, Andrew Bell, Clive Fulton (c), Mark Allison, Andrew McKelvey, Victor Orr, Matthew O’Neill, Alex McKeown, Craig Davis, Mark Monteith, Andrew Linford.

The men’s Second XI lost 2-0 at home to Portadown III.